Chapter 1: A Lion, A Choice
The Lions saw the beginning and the end. They were not of this universe or any reality thereof. They were the remnants of a battle that had not yet been fought. They were remnants of the beginning and the end. They would cease to know beyond and thus cease to be after the end.
The Lions knew the beginning from the end… But that didn't mean they liked it. The Lions by default were not suppose to take sides. They were fashioned as weapons, but they existed as observers and guides… They were to be nothing more. Undoubtedly there would be universes where they managed to keep their distance from the physical world; but this would not be one of them.
Black felt her old old Paladin on the brink of death as he had been before, corrupted and twisted by the existence within the walls of the inbetween.
Black felt her current Paladin give up the fight, not knowing that the fight had not truly been won. Death was a simple thing. The end of one existence to return to the beginning. Absorbed, reshaped, created anew. Not for her Paladin, not for a long time.
She could let things continue as they should, or she could save not just her current Paladin, but the one to which would come after him. The Lions saw the breach in spacetime as a new time line formed. This would be the only timeline that could not be crushed; the only timeline that would not be destroyed in the end.
Black saved as much of Takashi Shirogane as she could. She did not gather all of him though, that would not do. The witch needed something to work with. She could not simply use a clone without the memories that the Black Paladin had gained since his time in the arena.
This would not be the first time his quintessence had been drawn away from the end and placed in a new body to continue on, but this would be the first time when not all of him made that trip.
The Black Lion made her choice and she and her Cubs observed as time birthed a new outcome, a new beginning and a new end.
Chapter 2: Two Halves of a Whole
Shiro joined to Shiro. It was not as one death and another life, it was as half returned to the other half. The Black Lion had watched as one half held himself taut against the physical, the mental, and the spiritual pain of having only half of himself, half his quintessence, half his life force, and half his sense of self. She watched the other half waste away in her own consciousness, waiting.
To the Lions, such a short span of time was but a blink of an eye, but for the Black Lion, she began to see time as the beings of the physical universe did. She wanted it to be over, but she had to wait. Time dragged.
At last the wait was over. At last the uncorrupted could cleanse the corrupted and together sooth the wounds of new and old. At last her old Paladin could have peace, at last her new Paladin could breathe easy after two years preparing for a twenty minute battle of the heart. Peace would not come immediately, but it would come to pass.
As the two halves became one the Black Lion roared in triumph, having beaten the old Witch before she even began to have plans in place that would need beating. Her cubs roared with her. They too felt the victory that was not an observer's victory to have, and yet here they were…. Victorious. Exhausted, but Victorious.